This setting of Binyon’s famous words, used in Remembrance Sunday liturgies, provides two options for performance: for SATB or SA plus a single line for men. It provides an opportunity for a small choir to make a distinct, fresh impression with unaccompanied singing.
The words are not romanticised, so as not to detract from their impact. Rather, the setting employs a quasi-modal melodic and harmonic voice. In the first half, the two-part (Soprano and Alto) texture provides a sparse, forlorn, treatment of the words, while giving the altos a more prominent role than they often have. After this stark, thought-provoking opening, the addition one or two parts for tenor or bass under the repetition of the melody, and just a hint of chromaticism on “sun”, adds richness.
The SA+Men version can be heard here:
and the SATB version here:
Both versions are provided in a single publication from Chichester Music Press, at just £1 per copy (A5 format).